Tuesday, August 04, 2009

perception of the universe

"Much of both modern fantasy and modern horror, it seems to me, still deals with the relationship of the ordinary human world with Faerie, the Land Beyond the Hill, the World Beyond the Wood, that land of ghosts and shadows and unearthly Powers that still flickers just beyond the periphery of our bright, tidy, rational modern world... The major difference between the two, I think, is not so much subject matter as Attitude, the prevalent emotional weather or coloring of each....

"Much of modern horror has succumbed to--in fact, wholeheartedly embraced--a numbing sort of nihilism and fashionable designer despair, the message of which seems to be: you can't win, nothing matters, neither ethics nor morals nor religion are an effective guide to behavior, and none of them will save you; you can survive for a while by turning yourself into a savage predator, devoid of remorse or compassion or pity, but there's always a bigger predator in wait somewhere; in the end, the grave will get you, and sometimes you will continue to be flayed and tormented even beyond death. The house always wins, you always lose, and nothing you can do has any significance at all.

"This perception of the universe may be closer to 'reality' than that of fantasy..."

--Gardner Dozois, Modern Classics of Fantasy, 1997

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